Today’s blogger wedding is really special. Chandra of Oh Lovely Day started her blog around the same time we started Love & Lavender, and she was one of the first bloggers to reach out to us and introduce herself. She always has lots of great advice and beautiful inspiration to share, and we’re thrilled to be able to show her wedding here today!
I’m so excited to be guest posting at Love and Lavender while the ladies are on vacay! Love and Lavender is one of my favorite wedding blogs, always providing lots of wedding inspiration, so I am honored to be able to be a part of it today. Here is a little bit about me and my own wedding.
Tell us a little bit about your blog and how you got started.
Oh Lovely Day began as a creative hobby that basically gave me an excuse to continue to follow weddings after my own wedding had passed. During my own wedding planning I realized how much I loved the design process, the little details, and making our wedding a reflection of who we are. I wanted to share what I had learned, ideas I had, and inspiration I had found with other brides. I feel that too much emphasis has been placed on outdoing other weddings and getting your wedding published in magazines and blogs. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is really fun to get your wedding published (and mine was published also). But that should the icing on an already lovely cake. Your wedding should be about love, family and friends, and fun. It should be a reflection of your personalities, not what you saw in a magazine. That is what Oh Lovely Day is all about.
Tell us a little about you and your husband–how you met, the proposal, etc.
My husband and I are actually high school sweethearts. We dated our junior and senior years of high school, but after going to different colleges in different states we broke up. We basically spent the next 6 years dating off and on, but always remaining friends and staying in touch. While I was going to law school in Chicago and Jonathan lived in LA, we started dating again and continued to date long distance for the next two years until I graduated. Then I moved to LA. Five, yes five, years later we finally got engaged! Fourteen years (and 28 days) after our first date we got married. We now have a 7 month old son named Charlie.
How involved was your husband in wedding planning?
My husband wasn’t super involved in the planning, although I did ask his opinion about things I thought he might care about, like the menu. We chose the venue, DJ, menu, officiant, and cupcake flavors together. He helped me decide on ceremony and music elements. But as far as the little details were concerned, he couldn’t have cared less and I wouldn’t have had it any other way!
As a blogger, you see tons of amazing inspiration daily. How did you narrow all that inspiration down for your wedding?
I didn’t blog until after my wedding, which I think was better because I think I would have a much harder time narrowing down the inspiration now that blog, follow lots of other wedding blogs, and have become addicted to pinterest. There weren’t as many wedding blogs then as there are now either, so it was less overwhelming. I did follow Style Me Pretty and Snippet & Ink pretty religiously.
Do you have any advice for brides-to-be on how to get inspired for their own wedding?
I think it is easy to get overwhelmed when you start your planning and not really know where to begin. My advice, pick your venue first. This was the hardest choice to make, and once we found our venue the other things fell into place. Once you know that your wedding will be outdoors, or in a library, or by the ocean, you can better decide what style and color palette you want to incorporate because it should compliment your venue. But it should also reflect your personality, so stay true to you when you are looking for inspiration.
If you did a lot of diy or thrifting for your wedding, do you have any tips or favorite sources?
I scoured flea markets and estate sales and collected all of my floral containers (milk glass vases, mason jars) the antique keys I used, and I used Michael’s and Joann Fabrics for supplies for my DIY projects. I also used some things from my own collection of vintage things, like white pottery pitchers, vintage glass bottles and aqua mason jars. I did a lot of DIY projects, but I started them early and did as many ahead of time as possible, so I wouldn’t be overwhelmed and stressed as I got closer to the wedding.
If you could go back and get married again (to the same guy, of course), are there any changes you’d make?
I wouldn’t change one thing! I loved how my wedding turned out and the choices we made. My husband and I made sure to enjoy every minute – we ate our dinners, indulged in our signature cocktails, stayed together while visiting with family and friends, and spent most of the night on the dance floor. We had a ball. Oh, I know one thing I would change: We had a DIY Polaroid station and my hubs and I forgot to get a picture of ourselves! It is a little thing, but I was disappointed that we forgot to do that.
What was your favorite moment or memory from your wedding?
It is so hard to pick because your wedding day contains so many special moments, but I think my favorite is when I first locked eyes with my husband as I walked down the aisle. We opted not to do a first look, which is a decision I am so happy with. I know lots of people like first looks and there are benefits to them, but that moment when you first see your husband and you know you are about to marry him is the best moment and the most amazing feeling. Another favorite memory is just being on the dance floor, mojito in hand, and dancing my butt off with all of my family, friends, and my new husband!
This really depends on each couple’s priorities. Our priority was that we and our guests have a really fun time and that we had great photos to remember it by. So my three things not to scrimp on are:
2. Food and alcohol
3. DJ or band.
That’s not to say that you can’t save money or find affordable versions of these things but doing a little research or shopping around, but I wouldn’t NOT have a photographer or serve only cocktail food or have a cash bar (or no bar) or play my ipod.
Some people may disagree with these and with what I am about to say, but it is just my two cents. We opted not to have a videographer. I totally see the value in having one, but it wasn’t a priority for us and it wasn’t in the budget. We did have a family member who dabbles in filmmaking who filmed our wedding and festivities who made us a video as our gift. Is it the super 8 film I originally wanted? No. But I do have a nice film and we saved that money and put it towards other important things, like shuttling our guests to and from the wedding so they could enjoy themselves and have a few cocktails without worrying about driving. We also bought most of our alcohol at BevMo and all of the wine during their 5 cent sale. Being able to bring our own alcohol to the venue was a big cost saver. And after I found the wedding gown I wanted, I shopped around and bought it for almost 50% off the original retail price. So I saved a ton of money and got my dream gown. Also, I didn’t hire a wedding coordinator. Some brides really need one, and some just don’t. I’m really organized and knew exactly what I wanted, so I didn’t need one. We did have a day-of coordinator through our venue who was amazing. Also, my best friend and I designed all of my wedding stationery and paper goods, so I only had to pay for materials and printing. I even splurged for letterpress, because I love it so much, but did some research and found an affordable letterpress printer.
Tell us a little about what you’re doing now, and what your hobbies are (other than blogging)
These days I spend most of my time being a momma – it takes up a lot of time! But I love going to flea markets when I can and am working on starting a business (vintage related!) with a friend. Unfortunately I don’t have much free time these days!
Thanks so much for letting me guest post for you and tell you about my wedding and a little about me.
Photographer: Jennifer Roper Photography
Venue: La Venta Inn
DJ: Danny Farrell of NYC DJ’s
Cupcakes: Vanilla Bake Shop
Catering: New York Food Company
Florist: Greenwich Floral Design
Invitations and Paper Goods: Tilde Designs, printed by Studio on Fire
Calligraphy: Barbara Kua
Bridal Gown: Melissa Sweet
Hair and Makeup: Flawless Faces, Inc.
Bridesmaids: Lela Rose, Bella Bridesmaid in Chicago
Groom’s Suit: Brooks Brothers
Earrings for bride and maids: Erin Gallagher
Garter: Julianne Smith
Cake toppers: Cottonbirddesigns